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Coup, alliances dominate Iraqi rumors

Oct. 8, 2010 at 2:08 PM
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The Iraqiya slate would join forces with incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki provided a series of conditions are met, the party's leader Iyad Allawi said.

Allawi led his Iraqiya slate to a narrow victory in March 7 elections, though fell well short of the 163-seat majority needed to form a government. Maliki, meanwhile, won support from the alliance loyal to anti-American cleric Moqtada Sadr, putting Maliki within reach of the majority.

Allawi suggested to The Wall Street Journal that he would agree to power-sharing talks with Maliki provided all top government positions, including prime minister, were up for debate.

Adnan al-Sarraj, a Maliki supporter, responded by saying the position of prime minister was not a matter for negotiation.

Allawi added that he wanted to see plans on the table for resolving internal border issues and lingering oil revenue concerns.

A spokeswoman for Iraqiya said in a separate statement that the secular slate welcomed a proposal by Kurdish President Massoud Barzani to appoint representatives from leading parties to move negotiations forward.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi official told London's pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on condition of anonymity that there was the potential for a coup in Iraq.

"We do not completely exclude a military coup, since Iraq's political history is replete with military coups," the source said.

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